FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys drew criticism on social media Tuesday after announcing a marketing deal with a gun-themed coffee company with blends including “AK-47 Espresso,” “Silencer Smooth” and “Murdered Out”.
The partnership with Black Rifle Coffee Co. was revealed on Twitter the day after more than half a dozen people died in a shooting during a 4th of July parade in suburban Chicago.
It’s also been just over a month since the Cowboys announced their role in a $400,000 donation to support victims and survivors of the school shooting in Uvalde, South Texas, where 19 students and two teachers died.
The tweet announcing the deal between “America’s Team” and “America’s Coffee” drew around 200 comments in the first few hours, with most criticizing and suggesting the timing of the announcement was poor.
“Maybe read the room guys a bit,” one person posted, while another wrote, “Dallas Cowboys just lost one of their biggest fans. Integrity matters.”
The Cowboys declined to comment.
The tweet links to a contest offering two tickets to a Cowboys home game and a one-year subscription to the coffee company. Most of the company’s sales are direct to consumers.
Black Rifle was founded by U.S. Army veteran Evan Hafer, who made supporting veterans one of his company principles.
“The BRCC is proud to partner with the Dallas Cowboys, who are strongly committed to our mission of supporting veterans, first responders, and American men and women in uniform,” a Black Rifle spokesperson said. “The long-planned announcement was timed to coincide with the Independence Day holiday – Team America. America’s Coffee. America’s Birthday.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ unwavering support for the military was best exemplified when he was one of the most outspoken owners in the NFL against players kneeling during The Star-Spangled Banner before games to protest the racial injustice and police brutality.
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The Black Rifle brand is popular among conservatives and gun rights advocates, and the Salt Lake City-based company has ties to Texas. The first physical store opened in San Antonio, where the company has a second headquarters.